MLB Notebook: Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas injured, Cristian Javier becomes the fifth Astros starter to hit IL, and more

Photo credit:© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Holden
4 days ago

Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas injured

Triston Casas is the latest Boston Red Sox player to hit the injured list as he suffered from some rib discomfort in Boston’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. Casas has been placed on the 10-day Injured List and is expected to miss a lengthy amount of time. 
He’s not doing okay,” was the update after the game from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Casas felt discomfort in his side after fouling off a Mitch Keller sinker in his first at-bat and was replaced defensively in the top of the second.
Casas is scheduled for an MRI on Monday but it seems like he will miss some considerable time. 
Casas’ injury adds to a long list of hitters on the IL for Boston. Vaughn Grissom, Tyler O’Neill, Trevor Story, and Rafael Devers have all been out of the Sox lineup. Grissom has yet to suit up for the BoSox since his trade from Atlanta, suffering his injury in the spring. Devers and O’Neill collided with each other in shallow left field when chasing down a pop fly on April 15th. O’Neill came out with a concussion and eight stitches in his face and Devers suffered a bone bruise in his knee. Raffy and O’Neill are expected to return soon, as early as Tuesday. Story is out for the rest of the season after dislocating his shoulder diving on a Mike Trout bloop single. 
Boston’s arms are also hurting. Garrett Whitlock, Nick Pivetta, and Lucas Giolito are all sitting on the IL. Giolito will likely miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing elbow surgery, Pivetta won’t face live batting until closer to the end of the month with a flexor strain, and Whitlock, who was out with oblique tightness, is expected to be activated as soon as his 15 days are up.
The Red Sox did call up former Blue Jay Tyler Heineman in a counter-move to Casas’ injury, but he may not stay. MassLive.com writer, Chris Cotillo says he expects to see a flurry of roster moves from the Sox before their series against the Cleveland Guardians including 1B depth, a rearrange in the bullpen. Cotillo adds the entire 40-man roster is expected to be in play for the big club and expects Heineman to be returned to the minor leagues soon.
Casas has been swinging a heavy bat this year smacking six homers tied for third in all of baseball while cashing in 10 runs. No matter the severity of his injury, Casas’ bat will be missed in the BoSox lineup and likely will be very difficult to replace. 

Cristian Javier becomes the fifth Astros starter to hit IL

Cristian Javier has hit the 15-day Injured List, becoming the fifth Houston Astros pitcher to land on the IL this season. 
Javier missed his start over the weekend with some discomfort in his neck, forcing Hunter Brown to start in his place. Brown allowed three earned runs on four hits, striking out six in 3.0 innings pitched. 
Astros manager Joe Espada said they are at a “wait-and-see” stage with Javier but he is not scheduled for an MRI at this time. 
The team has called up Spencer Arrighetti to replace Javier’s spot in the meantime. Arrighetti made his MLB debut earlier this year in a spot start. In that start, Arrighetti allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in 3.0 innings against the Kansas City Royals. 
Javier joins an Injured List that already includes Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers, Luis Garcia, and José Urquidy. McCullers had an operation to repair a flexor tendon in his throwing arm and a bone spur in June last year. Garcia underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2023 and could return in the second half of the season. Urquidy and Valdez suffered their arm injuries this season, both missing starts within a week of each other. A return for Urquidy remains unknown but he resumed throwing off the front slope of the mound last week. Valdez threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is nearing a return for the ‘Stros. 
Houston did get a much-needed return over the weekend as Justin Verlander made his season debut starting in the series opener against the Nationals. Verlander would get the win in his return, throwing six innings, striking out four, and allowing two runs on four hits. 
The Astros have had it rough this year and it is obvious as to why. They currently sit last in the AL West, have the second-worst club ERA in baseball, and the third-worst opposition batting average in the league; the replacements have not pulled their weight. Hunter Brown has a season ERA of 9.68 and an 0-4 record, Spencer Arrighetti is 0-2 with a career ERA of 11.57 and a .344 opposition average, and J.P. France has a 7.08 ERA with an 0-2 record. The only starting pitchers to record a win for the Astros this season are Cristian Javier, Ronel Blanco, and Justin Verlander, who joined the team Saturday. 
The other issue for the Astros is their bullpen. What was supposed to be one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball, has turned into one of the worst. Josh Hader who got paid $95 million over five years with Houston has been BAD. Hader has allowed nine runs in 9.2 innings for an ERA of 8.38. Those nine runs are only three away from the 11 Hader allowed all last season. Bryan Abreu has been far from his usual self. Abreu has a 4.91 ERA this season and has been struggling with the long ball; of the 12 hits he has allowed in his 11 innings this year, three have been homers. He does have one of the other wins for an Astros pitcher this season, though. Ryan Pressly hasn’t been any better. A shocking 8.31 ERA for the former closer and has allowed a whopping 14 hits in 8.2 innings this season. 
Plus, José Abreu has had an awful year as well. Abreu has swung for a meagre .068 average on four hits in 59 at-bats, striking out 17 times. Alex Bregman hasn’t been himself either, boasting the worst average amongst qualified hitters for Houston with a .217 average scoring five runs and no home runs. 
Houston could be in some choppy water for the rest of the season and the pending return of Valdez and Urquidy may not right the ship in Texas. 

Quick Notes:

  • Shohei Ohtani breaks Hideki Matsui’s home run record. Ohtani hit his 176th MLB homer on Sunday, breaking Matsui’s 12-year record.
  • Anthony Rendon lands on the Injured List. Rendon left the Angels game on Saturday against the Reds with a strain in his left hamstring. He was placed on the IL on Monday morning, how long he will be out of the lineup remains unclear.
  • Pete Fairbanks place on IL. Fairbanks hits the Injured List with what the Rays are calling ‘nerve-related issues.’ It is unclear how long Fairbanks will be out for. 

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